June 7, 2010

Stranded by Douglas E. Richards

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 9:59 pm by suebe2

by Douglas E. Richards
Stranded was a very good book!!
It is the third book in the thrilling Prometheus Project series.
The main characters were, as usual, Ryan and Regan Resnick.  The plot for this book is great —  Ryan and Regan discover the fourth dimension and use that knowledge to break  through a force field.  This enables Ryan to get back to Earth and get help for the stranded study expedition.  They are stuck on Isis, a planet trillions of light years from Earth.
The expedition was  stranded on Isis when scientist Michelle Cooper set a diversion up then made a break for it,  blocking they’re escape.  Yet, she is innocent.  Why?  Excuse me, this is a book review not a book! Go read it and find out!  I don’t want to spoil the whole plot for you.  Seriously.  I bet you’re reading this paragraph even though you were told it was a spoiler.
This book is good for all kids ages nine and older, (especally if you like science!  It is also good for adults.   You’ll love the action but some of the science, about the 4th dimension, is really hard to understand.  The author does a really good job explaining it but this is the kind of science they talk about in college!
Happy reading!!
(Guest Reviewer)
Son of SueBE (11 years-old.  I had a birthday!)

December 16, 2009

My Light by Molly Bang

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 8:24 pm by suebe2

My Light (AR 3 .0 )

by Molly Bang

Blue Sky Press

One of the requirements for the Engineer Badge in Webelos is that the boys understand and be able to explain how electricity is generated.  That’s a tough call when many of the leaders don’t have a deep understanding of the topic.  If you don’t fully understand it, how do you explain it to the boys?

Fortunately, Molly Bang has solved the problem.  Told from the perspective of the Sun, My Light discusses how the starlight is sunlight which is energy.   Energy collects in rainfall, in wind and even in plants that became coal and oil.  Water and wind can drive turbines which then produce electrical power which is collected and transmitted to towns and cities.

There’s more to Bang’s text than that but that is enough for you to see where she is coming from.  Her straightforward illustrations show how a dam holds back water, allowing only a controlled amount through to run the turbines, how leaves look and work at the cellular level and how rivers collect water across vast distances.  In short, Bang does an excellent job of making such a complicated topic understandable.

Worried that your slightly older reader might object to the picture book format?  Not one of seven boys said a word about it.  The word “dam” was another situation altogether.

If you plan to use this book with Scouts or your class or simply want to know a bit more about the topic than is in Bang’s book, check out the expanded write-up on her site.


December 10, 2009

The Prometheus Project: Trapped by Douglas E. Richards

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 4:53 am by suebe2

The Prometheus Project: Trapped

by Douglas E. Richards

(DNA Press)

Getting scientific principles across to kids is tough but Richards succeeds in doing just that in The Prometheus Project: Trapped.  The best part is that it all takes place within a fictional story.

Ryan and Regan may be many things but they are not happy campers.  Their family has moved cross-country to an isolated home where they know no one.  Their parents work all hours.  The kids are bored.  Bored.  BORED.  Is it any surprise when they get into trouble?

The trouble they get into arises when they decide to see what it is their parents are up to, breaking several different codes to bypass a variety of high-tech forms of security.  Good thing too because the two interfering children manage to save the day in an alien city.

How does the author pull off the teaching aspect without having it be preachy?  Ryan and Regan observe facts, make theories, test them and then revise as needed.  They live the science involved and make it work for them.  Readers learn about the scientific method without a single lesson being involved.


I have to admit  — I cringed when it became obvious time travel was involved.  Time travel presents a host of difficulties for the author but Richards makes the solution work within the story, setting up the possibilities well in advance so nothing seems jarring.

An excellent choice for science loving kids or those who love daring adventure.   Want to know more?  Check out the author’s site.


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